Contract Acquisition Deadline Deals

How contract acquisition deadlines are shaping the league

With the contract acquisition deadline having come and gone at this point we are already starting to see the early returns on the record 16 deadline day deals. Some of the bigger names like Aaron Gordon have dazzled so far while others have yet to make the impact their new team has wanted. 


The Aaron Gordon Deal

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The Nuggets made a big swing when they acquired Aaron Gordon from the Magic and boy has it looked great so far. He looked like the missing piece helping lead them to a 6-0 record since his contract acquisition. The Nuggets have long looked for an athletic wing to space the floor and play defense and Gordon is exactly that. With a starting lineup of Murray, Barton, Gordon, Porter and Jokic they look like a serious contender. Look for the Nuggets to have a meteoric rise through the Western standings in the coming weeks. 

The Nikola Vucevic Deal


The other victim of the Magic’s fire sale, Nikola Vucevic, has not had as easy of a transition as Gordon. Since his contract acquisition, the Bulls have gone 2-4, but it is not as bad as it sounds. The Bulls had a large amount of roster turnover in the middle of their west coast road trip. With all these factors combined, it’s easy to see why the Bulls have struggled. Vucevic himself has played well and long term it looks like a great fit. The team just needs some time to get used to the new players and things should start to turn around. On a smaller note, Daneil Thies has looked great as Vucevic’s new backup.   

Other Smaller Deals

Victor Oladipo

Oladipo has only played two games for the Heat so far and he’s been okay. It has only been two games, so the jury is still very much out on his fit. Oladipo was brought in to inject some offense into the Heat, but in two combined games he’s only put up 14 points so far.  He’ll need to drastically increase his production if he wants to get a long term deal with Miami.

Evan Fournier

After a disastrous first two games going a combined 3/16 from the field, Fournier has began to turn it around. He returned to his normal self giving Boston a good scoring option off the bench. Early returns on Fournier overall have been mixed, but things are starting to look up as the playoffs draw closer.

Norman Powell Gary Trent Swap

In the short term this deal has looked like a win win for both teams. Both Trent and Powell have been productive so far giving each team what was expected of them. The real winner of this trade will be decided this offseason when both players are free agents, but for now they both look like pieces moving forward.

Major Buyouts

LaMarcus Aldridge

Aldridge went to join the rest of the ring chasers in Brooklyn and things have looked good. He’s been a natural fit and has effectively help pushed Deandre Jordan out of the rotation. A big man rotation of  Aldridge, Blake Griffin, and Nicolas Claxton could most certainly be enough to get the nets tot the finals. However, Aldridge isn’t the Allstar talent he once was, but he can do enough to be a productive role player for the Nets.

Andre Drummond

Thus far, this is very much an incomplete grade for Drummond  and the Lakers. In his first five minutes in the floor he had a toe nail ripped off. This has caused Drummond to miss the last few games, but it shouldn’t be a long term concern. The real question will arrive once Anthony Davis and Lebron James finally return to his fit with them.